Weak carrier marketing is one reason agents have not flocked to real-time agency-carrier transactions, according to industry sources. "Only a handful of carriers have actually told their agencies these services are up and running," says one source who wishes to remain anonymous. "I get phone calls every day from agencies saying, 'A field rep was just at my office and he didn't know anything about this.'"Carriers haven't publicized their capabilities widely, in part, because they view them as a competitive advantage, says Rick Gilman, vice president for ACORD, Pearl River, N.Y. Although ACORD is making efforts to track carrier initiatives, a comprehensive list of all carriers and the types of real-time transactions they provide does not exist.

Another cause of agents' moderate response is technology overload, others say. Despite the fact that these interfaces typically take less than 30 minutes to set up, many agents are not technology-savvy. Others are skeptical because they've received too many promises about technology solutions that haven't been kept.

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